Bottom Exam: From Script To Screen (Apocalypse)

We continue our comparison of Bottom episodes to their scripts, and the very first line of Apocalypse deviates from what’s seen on screen. Can you spot it?

SCENE ONE – LIVING ROOM

Dead goldfish is floating in bowl.

Bottom: The Scripts, page 80

The rest of this opening scene unfolds on screen verbatim from the script.

And the shooting gallery scene is verbatim too. Strangely, this moments later is not scripted.

In the script they just run straight into Brenda The Ballgazer’s tent. I’m guessing they found this moment on set, having seen that great set piece.

Our first real deviation from script to screen comes at the hospital.

SCENE FOUR – HOSPITAL SURGERY

[Richie and Eddie come up some stairs and moan at the lift which has an out of order sign on it. Richie walks on up to the counter pushing past all the old sick people.

RICHIE: Come on Eddie, oh God. Oh God. Bloody NHS. They put reception on the top floor and keep the lifts out of order just to drum up a bit of heart attack business.

EDDIE: Come on Richie, you’re taking this far too seriously. The shifty old witch was only having a bit of a joke.

RICHIE: She was right about the nudey pic. Oh, how all my sins do inform against me!] Come on, come on. Out the way! Out the way! Out the way. Look, are you terminal?

Bottom: The Scripts, page 87

There’s a small cut, which when you know it’s there is amazing you never noticed it before. As Eddie explains how Richie injured himself in the Falklands, he opens his mouth to say his next line, which is ‘Really nasty gash. Kept the plaster on for days.’ … and we cut back to Richie at the desk.

On the page Richie makes the patient spurt blood a few lines later than he does on screen, and the first pat on the doctor’s back isn’t in the stage directions.

Also not in the directions is the old man guarding the lift door. On the page Richie goes out of his way to wheel him into the lift, in an act of grace, there’s no out of order sign, nor does the man move himself to block their demise.

Eddie’s ridiculous fry up is simply described as ‘Eddie is making a fry-up.’ And his breaking of the fourth wall look to camera is unscripted too.

This probably should have occured to me in my watch through, but Eddie and Richie have been saving a box of liquer chocolates for their anniversary.

What anniversary?

I need to know now.

Just after that, there’s a bit of Richie’s speech that doesn’t appear to have been filmed. They certainly haven’t edited around its removal.

RICHIE: I can’t go near the window, you know that. [Anything could happen. Suppose some Arab terrorist was on his way to blow up the Houses Of Parliament, and he’s sitting on top of the number nine bus, and he sees me at the window and mistakes me for President Bush on a fact finding mission. Kerblam! Or] I might fall out. Or the window might fall in.

Bottom: The Scripts, page 92

A little moment is removed, when Richie offers Eddie five pee (pence as written), and Eddie explains that it’s two things, and two things is ten pence.

Meanwhile, Richie popping his hotty botty on his willy for warming is not scripted. Nor is his wondering whatever happened to his Mum.

After Richie makes his bargain with Death, there’s an extra round of I-Spy on the page.

EDDIE: Submarine.

RICHIE: No.

[EDDIE: What do you mean? It begins with an ‘s’.

RICHIE: Yeah, but you can’t see one can you?

Pause.

EDDIE: I see everything*.

RICHIE: Yeah, but it’s got to be something we can both see.

EDDIE: Oh I see, changing the rules now are you?

RICHIE: Oh don’t be ridiculous you big tit.

EDDIE: (menacingly) Careful mortal!

RICHIE: (scared) Oh sorry. Go on, have another go, ‘s’.

Eddie totters around the room looking for something beginning with ‘S’.

EDDIE: Ha ha! Got it … Selina Scott.]

RICHIE: No. It was ‘scythe’! …

Bottom: The Scripts, page 99-100

The removal is nicely hidden by an elegant angle change, but I do love that Richie called Death a big tit.

*This line explains Eddie’s later assertion that he keeps telling Richie he sees everything.

There’s a bit of extra business once Eddie has fallen down the stairs and someone knocks on the door. In the script, they have accounted for the journey up the stairs, but on screen, they don’t bother.

The man kicks Eddie.

Fin.

Bottom: The Scripts, page 103.
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